Sunday, March 08, 2009

"Not Homeless, Just Not Home Yet": BASICS interviews Brooklyn artist Melodic

February 2009, by Makaya

Melodic's New Video for "Ride On"

Jamaican-born, Canadian-raised and Brooklyn-based singer Melodic is doing it all for the people. Melodic has shared the stage with such greats as Dead Prez, Tupac, Buju Banton, Mos Def and Heavy D to name a few and he has established himself as one of New Yorks most innovative up and coming artists. His music is a blend of Reggae, Soul and Hip Hop (dubbed 'Reggae Soul Hop') and he is currently in the process of recording his second album. BASICS had the chance to meet up with him at a recording session and talk about life and music.

BASICS: How long have you been doing music?

Melodic: Forever. It is my purpose.

B: What has had the greatest influence on your music?

M: Life. My life. The things around me. My mistakes. Life has always been the greatest inspiration and always will be.

B: You were born in Jamaica, grew up between Calgary and Toronto and have lived in New York for the past 12 years. What are the major differences you see between the three societies?

M: Well from a health perspective, in Jamaica you can live off the land, while up here people live mostly off fast food so as far as living a healthy life goes, Jamaica is where it's at. But for work opportunities, New York is where it's at.

As far as politics go, in Jamaica politics are different from here. It's an all out war. Guns, machetes, violence. The people are killing each other in the name of different political parties.

In the US and Canada, politicians persuade the people to vote for them by telling them pure lies, but at least we're not killing each other for them like in Jamaica.

B: What do you think about Obama?

M: Well I'm not on the black and white thing and I don't believe in any politician no matter what he looks like. Some people are celebrating this as a really great moment in history, but I'd rather get my 40 acres and a mule than a black president that's giving us false hopes of change, because at the end of the day he's a politician on the side of the other politicians and can't be for the people.

B: Tell us about Brooklyn and what you see as the major issues the people are facing.

M: Too much police, no work, rent increases, a lot of homelessness and all of this contributes to the high crime rate... The issues facing poor people in New York City are endless.

B: If you could, how would you change this?

M: If I was in a position to make a change on a larger scale than now I would create a system where every family is given the same amount of money to cover all living expenses. Give the people a real way to survive. Right now there's no balance. Most people are working just to survive and pay off debts while the others live in luxury. I think if we all had the same opportunities a lot of problems in our society would be elevated.

B: Tell us about your music and how you see it creating change.

M: First of all, I give what I get from the world. And I create change with my music by singing things that inspire people and make them want to keep on and stay strong. As far as going out there and saying that I'm going to stop the war or end poverty, I would be fighting a losing battle. I will definitely create a spark to inspire that to happen, but those issues are not things I can fight alone and have to be fought collectively. I'm down with the people who believe in doing the same.

B: Your latest video for your song 'Ride On' has created a big buzz in New York and the concept is fresh. Can you tell us about it?

M: The song is basically telling people to keep going even when times are rough and just ride on. The concept is 'I'm not homeless, just not home yet' and since I myself have 'not been home yet' I just act out what it's like to be in that situation and echo the lyrics of the song and show the reality of the streets, but in such a way to inspire people in that situation and to create change. Though this is a universal problem, being in New York you see everything and the video is capturing New York from a different perspective than we're used to seeing in the media and bringing a voice to the voiceless. All the people in the video are real people, not actors and at the same time that we are talking about such an ugly issue as homelessness, the video is showing the beauty of the people.

B: So what's next for Melodic?

M: Keep making music with longevity. I still haven't written my best song. And I want to bring Reggae music to the forefront and have it recognized by the Grammy's and the mainstream media so we can take it to new heights. Me and my bredren Nachy Bless have created the Reggae Soul Hop style that is bridging the gap between the different genres of music.

I'm going to finish up this album, tour and just keep writing music good music to uplift the people.

B: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today.

M: Not a problem. Jah Bless. Keep up the great work. Straight Yoza!

Go to or to hear Melodic's music and check out his new video for 'Ride On'. Look out for more from this artist in the very near future.*